Archive | February, 2015

In Your General Direction

16 Feb

I was waiting for a cab the other night in the freezing goddamn cold when a man walked by me and passed gas. Like, the wind was howling and I heard this fart. Did I mention he was carrying two bottles of Mountain Dew? Because he was. He was, you guys.

It felt like this snap judgment on me, by him. Like, in this moment I have decided that you are not important enough to NOT fart in front of you, so I’m going to do this. This is going to happen. God forbid I wait the 10 steps to get to my car and fart so you don’t have to be assaulted by my biology on a Saturday night.

I was wearing a dress so pretty and expensive that I don’t even fart in it, let alone let it around stranger gas. Never mind that I never once committed the grievous error of passing gas in front of my ex-husband (SIX YEARS), because the times I was allowed to have an actual butt were not for my benefit.

I’m not a prude. I don’t even care how people comport themselves, as long as you don’t count “judging furiously” as caring. But we’re part of a society and things are already getting pretty weird because of the Internet. We need to maintain the precious few boundaries we have, even if they are ephemeral to begin with. Jesus.

If This Glass of Milk Turns to Drugs, You Will Know I Am Gone

15 Feb

I have the kind of memory that embarrasses me with its sharpness. My rich inner life sometimes melds with the plots of movies my parents shouldn’t have let me watch and then rubs up on my steel trap memory. This makes for a kind of spotty history that I have to fact check with my mother. Which, I mean. Are her memories better than mine? I don’t know.

True: I spent the first night of my life outside of the Albion Hospital in a hotel room.

False: I slept in a drawer. . 

So sometimes I’ll catch myself doing some little ritual – I am rather superstitious – and I’ll think, now where did I learn this? Am I imagining that a scene of drugstore cowboys is my life or am I remembering the time my mother flew off the handle when I opened an umbrella in the house. Because she opened an umbrella in the house and then her father died and well that’s that.

True: We were on the road a lot and hung out with the other wives and kids of oilworkers.

False: Liz, a willowy woman with long hair, sun damaged skin, and smokes in her hand, gave me piggy back rides up and down the hotel hallways. (Because she didn’t exist.)

And really, it doesn’t matter. My memory is as useless as yours, because it’s not perfect and so why bother with it. But those little corners of my mind, that little secret pane of my Johari – they delight me. And because I’ve had such a delightfully odd life, nothing seems exactly impossible. I’ve had scarlet fever twice. I’ve been to the Miss America pageant 6 times. I have been on dates with at least 5 red-headed drummers. Maybe Liz is real and I’m the only one who remembers her. Hope she’s okay.

The title of this post comes from a spooky story my art teacher played for us in 2nd grade on Halloween. In the story, a young man is going to confront a demon. As he leaves, he tells his mother: if this glass of milk turns to drugs, you will know I am gone. Except Jesus Christ, how can that be true and as wildly inappropriate /nonsensical as it is?